Lions’ David Montgomery Throws Major Shade at Chicago Bears

David Montgomery

Getty David Montgomery, when he was with the Chicago Bears.

The Detroit Lions haven’t won a playoff game during running back David Montgomery’s lifetime. Yet, he apparently views his new organization’s emphasis on winning as far superior to that of where he began his career — the Chicago Bears.

On May 24, Montgomery let everyone know about those feelings, throwing quite a bit of shade toward his former team.

“That’s all I was used to,” Montgomery said about Chicago’s losing during an NBA2K streaming session with new teammate C.J. Gardner-Johnson. “And it got to a point where it sucked the fun out of the game for me because I’m a competitor. I like to compete. That’s what football’s about.

“It’s so refreshing to be in a place where that’s appreciated.”

Montgomery, who will turn 26 on June 7, signed a three-year, $18 million contract to join the Lions in March. He played his first four NFL seasons with the Bears, and he was not yet born the last time the Lions won a playoff game, January 5, 1992, against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC divisional round. They have played only eight playoff games since then, the most recent being in 2017 against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Bears have been only slightly better in the same timeframe, going 4-8 in 12 postseason games, but they did advance to the Super Bowl in the 2006 season.

The Chicago Bears Did Not Sign David Montgomery to a Second Contract

The Bears drafted Montgomery at No. 73 overall in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. He made an impact immediately, starting eight games and rushing for 889 yards with 6 touchdowns as a rookie.

After the 2022 season ended, Montgomery said he wanted to remain with the team. But the Bears didn’t find Montgomery worth bringing back on a second contract even though he started every game but one over the past three years.

Montgomery wasn’t the kind of back the Bears wanted, according to NBC Sports’ Josh Schrock, and he wasn’t drafted during the current regime of general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus.

“Poles said he wanted to bring Montgomery back but that ‘the value’ had to be right for the Bears,” Schrock wrote in a March 15 story. “While [he and Eberflus] respect his tenacity and professionalism, they want dynamic backs with elite explosion and burst to put in the backfield next to quarterback Justin Fields. Khalil Herbert, who is set to take over the No. 1 running back duties, fits that mold. Montgomery does not.”

He was one of the better players on the Bears roster and the offense ran through him. Chicago finished second in the NFL in rushing attempts during 2022. But none of that led to a lot of wins while Montgomery was with the Bears. Chicago posted a 25-41 record during Montgomery’s four seasons. Last season, the Bears lost their last 10 games to finish 3-14, which was the worst record in the NFL.

Five months after telling reporters ““This is a … loving organization. I don’t know if you find any other places like this,” he implied the Bears weren’t a team with a lot of competitors or a place that appreciated winning. Chicago never finished above .500 with Montgomery on the roster, and the franchise has had one winning season over the last 10 years.

The Irony of David Montgomery’s Shade

Of course, there’s a level of irony with Montgomery throwing shade at the Bears for a lack of winning.

During the running back’s career, the Lions own a 20-44-2 record. They’ve reached double-digit losses in four of the past five seasons and held the second-worst record just two years ago with a 3-13-1 mark in 2021.

As Lions fans don’t need reminded, that’s not really competing.

Things are projected to be different, though, for the Lions beginning in 2023. Behind an offense that finished fourth in yards and fifth in points, Detroit won eight of its last 10 games, including five of its final six contests last season.

The Lions beat the Bears twice during their hot streak. First, they edged Chicago on the road, 31-30. But then at Ford Field on January 1, the Lions dominated the Bears, 41-10.

To end the season, the Lions completed a sweep of the Green Bay Packers, knocking off Aaron Rodgers in a game they had to win to make the postseason, 20-16.

That’s plenty of “compete” and has a lot of experts hyping the Lions as a contender in the NFC North.

Lions-Bears showdowns are always key matchups inside the division. But after Montgomery’s comments, there could be extra meaning to the rivalry.

It will be a while, though, before the NFC North foes renew their rivalry. The Lions and Bears will face each other in Weeks 11 and 14 this season.

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